The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said it remains unequivocal to the safety of pension funds, assuring that adequate structures have been established in this regard.
The Commission also promised to continue to develop and implement innovative polices to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment as the pension industry and financial system evolves.
The Commission said the watershed of the pension industry is the informal sector and it is taken strategic steps to encourage more participation of workers from that sector of the economy in the Micro Pension Plan in order to expand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
These disclosures were made yesterday by the Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, at the 2022 Workshop organized by PenCom for journalists in Lagos and over 40 attended.
The DG who was represented at the workshop by the Head of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Abdulqadir Dahiru, said the theme of this year’s workshop, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan”, aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.
She stated that the objective is to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the informal sector and those who are self employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP), noting that “it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed.”
She said the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets.
PenCom DG informed the journalists that as at June 30, 2022, the number of registered contributors and the pension fund assets stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 tr respectively.
She said it is expected that the recapitalization exercise will showcase increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.
In his presentation titled “What you Need to Know About the Investment of the Micro Pension Fund (Fund VI),” Mr. Ibrahim Kangiwa, Head, Investment Supervision Department National Pension Commission, listed the benefits of Micro Pension Fund investments to the economy and to the contributor, and the Commission has the obligation to the safety of Micro Pension Fund and the investments.
“As the pension industry and financial system evolves, the Commission would also continue to develop and implement innovative policies to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment,” he added.
The Head of Micro Pensions Department, Mr. Dauda Ahmed, in his presentation, “The Micro Pension Plan: Bringing Financial Security at Old Age to the Doorsteps of the Informal Sector,” listed the benefits of Micro Pension Plan.
He said Micro Pension Plan will improve the standard of living of the elderly as it provides a regular stream of benefits at old age; provides access to other incentives and secures financial autonomy and independence of retirees amongst other benefits.
Speaking on the topic “The Administration of Retirement Benefits Under Micro Pension Plan,” the Head of Benefits & Insurance Department, Mr. Obiora Ibeziako, gave insights into the benefits administration of MPP which he said is divided into two – contingent withdrawal and retirement benefits withdrawal
According to him, withdrawals/accessing benefits shall be two types reflecting the flexibility incorporated in the treatment of the contributions.